Trails and Bridges

In my five decades of living, I have wandered and roamed, walked and ran, many miles of trail. Some just in my head, but so many truly traversed footfall by footfall.

I have crossed many bridges too. Some courageously over deep chasms. Others merely a few feet off the ground. Both types have protected me, often from myself and my enemy brain. But also from life experiences that could have brought devastating slips or falls.

I appreciate our current community and the surrounding area for the many miles of trail that can be accessed. There are over 30 miles in and around town. New trail additions will soon connect us to other communities. Some of those stretches have needed bridges over water or ravines, or underpasses taking us safely beneath busy roadways.

We are closing in on two decades living here. In that time, we also witnessed the construction of a new 4-lane bridge over the mighty Mississippi River. It was years in the making. I was one of the patient and curious commuters who watched one bridge get replaced by another over three years. Patience paid off. The new bridge is safe, efficient, and beautiful.

Our lives are months in the making from conception to birth, and years in the unfolding. If we are fortunate, we get some well-worn and comfortable trails to traverse and some sturdy bridges to carry us over treacherous terrain or water.

If that’s all we get though, we can easily get into a rut and get too comfortable. We need to blaze some of our own trails and build some of our own bridges. That requires at least some sense of direction so we know which way to go. And it requires perseverance in our efforts.

That is where many of my messengers and menders have helped me throughout my life. People coming into my life to stay or to just teach me a lesson and move on. Both of us better off because of the connection and clarity it brought and continues to bring.
Clarity helps us see the trail ahead, helps us better choose which way to take at the fork. Even then, we are often stepping with faith. Faith in a power beyond human, that intersects our trails with the other humans meant to change our lives for the better. Faith to build bridges when it is the only way to get to the other side of a life event.

I can run a stretch of trail in my mind’s eye if I am familiar with it, but if that is all I do I get limited benefit. Cliche or not, we really do get out of life what we put into it.

I appreciate each trail and bridge that has been part of my journey so far.

This is a picture of one of my favorites locally, and the view we get from it. I appreciate the shadow of the bridge seen in the second photo. It belongs there because the view wouldn’t be possible without it. Just like in my life. Some of the shadows and dark times ended up leading me to views beyond my expectations, but only hindsight afforded the new scenery.

Trails and bridges, some physically in existence, others built more on emotional, mental, and spiritual footings, have led me here today. Led me to the person I am- a late bloomer and a slow learner- full of gratitude and an open willingness to keep blooming and learning. Onward!

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